Wisdom Workout


Heart Smarts

By Susan McNeal Velasquez

Maintaining personal boundaries and standing up for our values through right use of yes and no, fosters self-care and self-confidence. We will call this strong-hearted versus timid or weak-hearted.

Sharing personal experiences that give others a glimpse into our private world, extending ourselves beyond our comfort zones, letting the light of a new day shine on old, habitual and stagnant thoughts and exposing ourselves to new interactions and experiences, all serve to bring new movement and flexibility into our lives. We will name this open-hearted versus closed-hearted.

The willingness to take into consideration the feelings, sensibilities and uniqueness of others, extending positive regard and empathizing with the fact that everyone is doing the best they can with what they have, allows a sense of overall well-being to permeate our lives. This can be called warm-hearted or gentle-hearted versus cold-hearted or hard-hearted.

Approaching our life situations with a kind and gentle touch, opening to the quirky humor that sometimes bubbles up, brewed from the mix that is created when what we hope and expect meets with what life actually brings us and letting go of our tight-fisted attempts to control the game, helps to air out and dispel the heavy, overwhelming thoughts and feelings that accumulate from shouldering too much for too long. We will call this light-hearted versus heavy-hearted.

Strong-hearted, open-hearted, warm-hearted and light-hearted are worthy and useful companions on the journey towards living well through right use and ownership of our personal power to make discerning life choices.

The shift that must be made to access these skills is in our awareness of the role that our emotions play in the task of living well. Heart skills are usually relegated to second-string status, positioned as the secretary of the intellect. In this position, our feeling nature simply takes dictation from the boss and carries out the mundane tasks of producing conventional feelings that support the decisions of the intellect-in-charge.

Used this way, our heart’s intelligence is repressed. Resentment, unexpressed grief, sadness and anger become stifled and stay mute when faced with rigid intellectual mandates that relentlessly pursue the ideal dream of perpetual perfection.

As a result, we become stuck in frustration and numbness from holding back the full range of our authentic feelings. These orphaned feelings, stored out of sight and out of mind, fester. We become frozen in a performance of perpetual posturing instead of allowing authenticity to be the reigning queen.

Our ability to thrive requires that we welcome home our orphaned feelings and by expanding our emotional reach we recapture our ability to be authentic. Self-honesty doesn’t mean surrendering control to wayward emotional outbursts. Instead, it means that we become open to rumblings of an impending storm so that we can make discerning choices that ultimately gift us with access to our natural exuberance, creativity, curiosity and passion. Seen this way, there is a storehouse of internal energy ready and waiting to be called into service.

Let’s resolve to liberate and elevate our heart’s intelligence to executive status. Imagine creating a dream team of strength, openness, warmth, kindness, caring and delight that can partner with our intuition to co-create a life infused with a sense of well-being and mastery.

We can enlist our heart skills to open and close, extend and receive, lighten, soften, let go, let down, stand up and stand out as exquisite responses to the rhythm, timing and tempo needed to create a vibrant life.


Susan is the author of the emotional resource book “Beyond Intellect: Journey into the Wisdom of Your Intuitive Mind.” Connect with her at:susanvelasquez.com



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